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Fire causes major damage

Christine Metz

A fire that started while a family was sleeping did severe damage to a house in Yampa, but no one was injured.

Tom and Stephanie Bowers’ house in the 700 block of 12th Street in Yampa caught on fire at about 4 a.m. Sunday. By the time the Yampa Fire District arrived, the roof of the one-story home was fully engulfed in flames, Assistant Fire Chief Dan Nielsen said.

Fire crews were able to save the north end of the home, where the bedrooms were, but the home’s garage, living room and kitchen were destroyed, Nielsen said.

The family was sleeping in the home when the fire started, and the smoke detectors did not go off, Nielsen said. Tom Bowers woke up and smelled the smoke and got the rest of his family out safely.

“It was really fortunate,” Nielsen said about his wife and son escaping the fire.

Nielsen said the fire started in the back of the garage, part of which was converted into an office. He speculated that it was an electrical fire and had been going for a while before the fire department arrived.

Yampa crews were able to stop the fire from spreading into the bedrooms, but extensive damage was done to the rest of the house, Nielsen said.

“It is probably salvageable. It is going to be a long process getting it inhabitable again, but it can be done,” he said.

According to the Routt County Assessor’s records, the house was 1,422 square feet and was built in 1977.

The Yampa Fire Department had ten people, three engines, a rescue truck and an ambulance on scene. The department also called for help from the Oak Creek Fire Department, which brought a fire truck.

It took three hours to extinguish the fire, Nielsen said. The fire department crews had concerns that the fire could spread to other homes in the Snowden Subdivision, but Nielsen said that no other structure was in direct threat of the fire.

— To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com


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